News Cycle Time-Lapse: BBC.com vs. NYTimes.com

More

Infographics are out, time-lapses are in! Why contextualize information in space when you can contextualize it in time? This time-lapse comparison of the homepages of NYTimes.com and BBC.com does just that.

Phillip Mendonça-Vieira set up a program to take regular screen grabs of the homepages of BBC.com and NYTimes.com from September 2010 to July 2011, and then turned them into a series of time-lapse videos. You can see the NYTimes.com over the full course of that period, 12,000 screen grabs condensed into seven minutes, in this post by senior technology editor Alexis Madrigal. Mendonça-Vieira also created a revealing side-by-side comparison of the two homepages. 

This excerpt from that full video shows the two homepages simultaneously as they covered the events of the Egyptian revolution from January 27th to February 11th, 2011. 

On his blog, Mendonça-Vieira notes,

The thing that stands out the most in comparison to the nytimes is how the BBC's editors behave more placidly in their content curation. Where the nytimes crams its homepage with as much information as possible, the BBC picks the most important story of the day and runs with it.

I suspect this difference comes down to a dramatic divergence in the sheer volume of content both organizations feel the need to showcase. Where the BBC is happy to file short, factual pieces, the nytimes house style seems to force them into multi page arrangements. Where the nytimes quantifies the BBC strives for brevity.

It's an interesting use of time-lapse, which we typically see applied to landscapes and clouds moving across the sky. Here we see the weather patterns of the news cycle, so to speak. He also observes, "You can see how the two sites share a large portion of photography and how quickly a subject gets dropped once it stops being news." 

Mendonça-Vieira also created comparisons of both sites during the story of the Chilean miners and the tsunami in Japan, which you can see on his website.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In